Product Review: Cakes away postable Cupcake boxes 

So incase you didn’t know my business creates Dessert style cupcakes, celebration cakes, layer cakes and I also do the occasional stall and event. I’m kept very busy and at the moment my business operates from my registered kitchen and runs online via a website, I get customers from word of mouth recommendation and also various Social media platforms.

I deliver my orders to your door which is convenient for my customers but at times delivery can be limited regarding the distances to deliver cakes, so I deliver within Birmingham and occasionally out of town. 

Sometimes I do receive request for orders from different parts of the UK and unfortunately many times I have had to turn down these Cakey request simply  because of the delicate nature of cake and my fear of posting cakes.

That is until now as it was with utter joy when I heard about postable Cupcake boxes.

I can’t deny I was extremely skeptical regarding getting cupcakes from A to B without them being tossed about and arriving in a crumbly cakey mess and I  was aware that cupcakes via post services do actually exist so I wanted to look into it this further.

So when I received a request for a wedding out of town I thought sending cupcakes by post would be a perfect way for my customer to try my cupcake samples, and also a great way to try out the postable cupcake boxes.

So via Twitter I found a company called Card cuts who specialise in Cupcake and Gift packaging

http://www.cardcuts.co.uk they are also on Facebook  http ://www.facebook.com/card.cuts.1  and Twitter @card_cuts the boxes are marketed as Cakes away postable cupcake boxes and you can get a 6 hole and singular box with a card which I think is rather cute.

I ordered Via their website and the cost was £5.75 for a case of 2 Cakeaway boxes.

The boxes arrived already assembled and are made out of corrugated card so extremely sturdy.

 

 Inside was a 6 hole insert tray, an all in one plastic pod cover to cover the cupcakes an extra cardboard support to help keep everything in one place, and some special Cupcake cases that you can bake without placing in a muffin tray.

You also receive instructions on the best way to bake and prepare your cupcakes and a handy little guide regarding your baked cakes in their case.

Every angle had been covered, and receiving a call from the company was the icing on the cake and added an extra little touch in that they wanted to ensure you had a good experience of using the boxes.

So back to the cakes, I was attempting to send buttercream cupcakes in various flavors:

Raspberry White Chocolate,Chocolate, Triple lemon and Pina Colada.

 

I was told I could send really high swirls so I had to give it a try and purposely went high with the piña colada flavour, probably a bit too high as there was some squishing going on (my fault)

 

So with all the cakes baked, swirled and boxed  i labeled up and decided to send an extra box as a test to somewhere that was a bit further afield so decided to send a box to ScotIand to my Aunt as a surprise.

Now curiosity was begining to tickle me and I wanted to give the box a mini test so I turned the box with the cupcakes in upside down with a good 360 degree twist, put the box back down and had a peek, and hey presto cakes where fine, (I breathed a sigh of relief) so now confident in my preparation etc…. I was ready to post the following day.

No need for a courier service as the cakes could be sent via Royal Mail The box was classed as a small parcel so I decided to send one box First class £4.30 confirmed delivery and the other box Second class £3.90 Confirmed delivery . You can send as standard but I wanted that extra assurance

So as I waved goodbye to my Cakes I then patiently awaited messages of there safe arrival.

Then a couple days later I received an email (from my customer) and text (from my aunt) to inform me that the cakes had arrived safe and sound, no damage and tasted delicious.

I was over the moon, successful delivery made and I was so impressed with these boxes. 

I’m not sure about sending in the height of summer (if we get one ) with the heat, as we know heat and buttercream do not mix but I think that could easily be remedied by either chilling or freezing in advance.

I now am working on offering cupcakes by post and working on a specific range, so using the boxes can lead to brand extension of products you already offer so I’m giving them a big 10/10 as I was suitably impressed as it was obvious a lot of trial and error had gone into the creation and manufacture of the boxes to allow safe delivery of the cakes.

So have you ever used them? And what was your experience like, I would love to hear.

 

 Cupcakes no longer a fad?


It’s National Cupcake week this week so I’m reblogging this blog post from s couple years ago.

On my Twitter feed a couple weeks ago I came across a list of the 101 best Cupcakes in America http://www.thedailymeal.com/entertain/101-best-cupcakes-america-2015-slideshow?slide=010&_mobile=1 And it got me thinking so many years on and cupcakes are still here after many people put them down to being a fad.

So with this the cupcake was supposed to be over thrown with the cake pop, whoopie pies and Macarons, but in my opinion Macarons are exempt as they truly are a classic so dont deserve to be put into the fad category.

And then there was the cronut the croissant and doughnut hybrid, created by Chef Dominique Ansel and actually is now a trademarked pastry item for his New York Bakery.

  

But through this the cupcake staying power has remained due to its hardcore fans. You only have to look at the list to see in America they are still as popular as ever.

Here are a few from the list that I have followed and lusted over

  
        I love these list, I love to see what our American  cousins are up to regarding Cupcakes.

I remember watching an episode of Sex and the City (i am such a huge fan) and watched how Carrie and Miranda tucked into Cupcakes while Carrie confessed she had a crush on Aiden (told you i was a fan) and the Cupcakes they were tucking into were Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes.

Based in New York City Magnolia bakery are famed with being responsible for the beginning of our love of Cupcakes and they are famous for their candy coloured buttercream and distinctive buttercream swirl, a true New York institution.

you can watch Magnolia Bakery – Putting frosting on there cupcakes here https://youtu.be/uh7bMgUlpTM using a spatula, I’ve tried this method but not very successful at achieving it.(will stick to my nozzles)


But  In the UK we have our own little army of Cupcake bakeries flying the flag


  

Peggy Porschen
Including yours truly Kake and Cupkakery https://www.facebook.com/Kakeandcupkakery


The Cupcake part of my business is as popular as ever and  I love to create new flavours and some of my creations are below.


 Of course Cupcakes still they have their haters who say they are too sweet etc…. but they have moved on so much and the UK appetite for these little cakes is still alive and well.

 You can get boozy ones, gluten free ones, eggless cakes and it’s not just regular buttercream anymore,cupcakes can be topped with whipped ganache, Italian meringue buttercream, filled with caramel or flavored buttercream, crush oreos into the buttercream, top with meringue the possibilities are endless. So much so I’m surprised that they don’t feature in cake week on the great British bake off. 

Even the Telegraph reported our love for anything red, notably Red velvet http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/retailandconsumer/11473794/How-the-red-velvet-phenomenon-took-over-the-world.html and you cannot beat a red velvet cupcake topped with a silky smooth cream cheese buttercream.

Also in the UK Cupcakes are celebrated Every year of which this week is National Cupcake week

This Annual celebration of cupcakes also has a Cupcake Championship with different category’s for bakers to enter their cupcake creations and every year it just keeps  getting better.

I myself entered in 2013,2014 and 2015 and made it to the final on all occasions.

So Cupcakes a fad? How can they be they are just a little cake.

So my verdict I don’t think so but what do you think?

#LongLiveTheCupcake.

It’s no Secret

This particular blog post is for my fellow cake makers and our valued Cakey customers.

We all know what goes into making a cake, flour, eggs, margarine, sugar,butter etc etc ….. And for some people when they decide they want a cake baked and decorated to order that’s still what they see, but there is just so much more that goes on, it’s no secret, so here is a snapshot of what actually goes into the bespoke cakes and cupcakes baked by me Yvonne aka Kake and Cupkakery

You see firstly I get a message

“Could I get a price on a cake”?

“Sure,what do you have in mind”?

The customer might have already undertaken some research and provided pictures of cakes they have found on google or another cake page but there is an unwritten Cakey rule that cakes are never copied to be identical so we always tweak, it is now the process can begin.

Day 1

So unless I’ve made the cake before I will not instantly know how much to charge, so i undertake some research on the design (unless I have a picture already) I get the spreadsheet up on the laptop and get costing. 

I now cost three different prices for cakes so that you the customer have choices from a simple design, midrange and then a higher end priced cake which is either a larger /tiered or a more intricate decorated cake.

The majority of customers choose the second option where cakes start from around £55 (8″)  this usually has a small amount of Modelling and detailed work.

I took some time out a while ago to do a costing exercise and now have a lot of the basic cost of making a cake already done so basically it’s add on the decoration time, delivery cost and supplies, I.e extra sugarpaste, ribbon, board and Box.

Then I need to determine how long it will take? this is always dependent on  what decorative work is involved in your cake,the more detail on a cake the higher the price will be.

 I have to calculate how much I will be paying myself to work on this cake as I run this as a business and pay tax on the income earned to HMRC,pay insurance (public liability) pay for a website etc… I have to make sure everything is covered because even though the business is based at home (and registered with the local council) there are still overheads to cover, less than a shop but regardless these cost must be included.

So my labour cost also includes getting the tin out and lining it,weighing out ingredients and mixing the cake. I pay myself just like I would expect to pay an employee the minute they start work as nobody works for free.

Day 2

Then it’s shopping,most of my suppliers are online but I have to go shopping for the more perishable ingredients such as fresh eggs ( only use free range) and butter (I always use unsalted) 

I like to buy in bulk when I can but it’s mainly the flour, sugar and chocolate ( usually Callebaut belgian chocolate) that I purchase in bulk, this reduces the time spent picking up supplies plus I always have a rolling stock.

Day 3

Cake is mixed and In the oven it goes in for 1.5 hours, (depending on the size of the cake) gas goes on, electric on (lights) and while that’s baking i will cover the cake board, begin making any models etc…. and then allow to dry

Day 4

Make buttercream,fill the cake,cover the cake, make more models if needed or add finishing touches to the ones already made,allow the covered cake to set overnight.

Day 5

Finish cake, add all the made pieces, photograph, box it up, add labels and business card/sticker which are purchased through the business.

Day 6

Delivery day, drive to deliver to customers home or venue.

Inbetween this is the cleaning,oh how I hate washing up any volunteers to do it for me?? (I’ll pay you in cake )

Now I’ve listed this in sequence but in fact dependng on orders this process could be 2 weeks or more in advance or only 2 days (for last minute orders) .  

So as you can see the whole process can be days and weeks in the making.

I’m lucky in that it’s rare a customer will tell me a cake is too costly but I can understand that some may think a quote they receive is too expensive because it’s just a cake,but in that cake is years of experience from starting as a hobbyist to launching a small business. And remember you are having a product specifically made for you,not mass produced but baked to order with care and attention to your own specific brief. And I always like to think of a celebration cake as memory making so to me they are even more special.

I know many cake decorators  feel insecure about what to charge and thousands constantly undercharge (I’ve been one of them). when you deliver a cake and realise it took 8 hours to decorate rather than the 3 hours you calculated,yes I’ve definitely been there and even now we can sometimes lose money on a order.

To my fellow decorators especially if your just starting out my advice is to get to grips with your pricing early on, understand what it cost you and what you would like to be paid for the skilled work you produce. I would allocate a few days to working it out,you’ll be happy you did as It is much harder to suddenly increase prices when you realise that the two tier cake you charged your customer £40 for actually cost you £20 to make. 

We have to make some money/ profit (it’s not a dirty word) or else your business is losing money and no matter what business your in losing money is very dishearting. 

You may lose 5% of customers if you suddenly need to increase pricing  but it’s better to get paid properly for two cakes than lose money working on 6


Now cake decorators across the land I know I may have left out some details because if we had to account for every single second a cake would cost £100 every time but I know you understand.

And to all my lovely customers who return and recommend me i just wanted to share my process with you as it’s because of you that 3.5 years later Kake and cupkakery is still baking.

And for those that are considering ordering a cake I hope this gives you a clearer idea what it entails.

Running a cake business is hard work and it’s not nearly as glamorous as people may think but I am absolutely loving it,so saying a Hugeeee Thank You to my customers and those that support there own local cake business.

So I hope you enjoyed this post because as I said in the beginning It’s no secret.